Magazine article Work & Family Life

Worldwide Research on Young Kids' Cellphone Use

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Worldwide Research on Young Kids' Cellphone Use

Article excerpt

With the mobile phone industry marketing its products to younger and younger users these days, it's not unusual for 6- and 7-year-olds to be toting trendy handsets in their book bags.

An estimated 31 million American children will join the cellphone market between 2005 and 2010, according to IDC, a technology research firm in Massachusetts. Last year the average age of new mobile phone users in the United States was 10 years old.

European families are in the same boat. A survey by Eurobarometer of about 1,000 children in 29 countries found that a majority of kids had mobile phones after age 9.

Parents must decide

Parents everywhere have to decide when and if their school-age children are able to handle this responsibility and if the family can afford the cost of this new amenity. Many parents are also concerned about the potential health implications of too much cellphone use.

The National Research Council recently delivered a report commissioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It reviewed scientific studies on mobile phone use around the world and urged further research, specifically on cellphone use by children and pregnant women.

There is to date no specific evidence that cellphone use is harmful to kids, But researchers say there's very little information about the long-term impact of radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by cellphones. …

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